“Back in the nineties”

I think there are very few people who worked in a piercing or tattoo studio in the late 1990s that don’t remember chatting with their coworkers at the beginning of the summer season and saying something to the effect of, “well, this is going to be the last big summer.” Piercings and tattoos were so unbelievably popular that it was impossible to believe that the “fad” couldn’t possibly last any longer. Almost all of us thought that one year soon we’d be remembering the nineties as “the good old days” back when mods were still popular.

I was watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine today and was reminded of those days because of a funny scene that takes place in the episode “Past Tense” (season three, episode eleven) when some of the characters time travel back to the San Francisco of 2024. One of the people who travels back is Jadzia Dax, a trill, who like all trill has characteristic leopard-like spots running down each side of her body from head to toe.


In 2024, humans did not yet know about non-terran civilizations, so Jadzia had to come up with an excuse for her spots. The scene between her and a human she’d met that was helping her out (Christopher Brynner), was quite amusing –

Christopher Brynner: You know, those are very unusual.

Jadzia Dax: Oh, you mean my tattoos?

Chris: It is amazing work! Where did you have them done? Japan?

Jadzia: How did you guess?

Chris: Well, I used to have one myself… A Maori tribal pattern — used to go all the way down my arm. I got it in highschool, back in the 90s, just like everybody else. Of course I had to have it removed. Well… you know how it is. To get the government contracts, you have to look like all the rest of the drones. So I guess that makes me a sellout.

Because I’ve made it my mission to binge watch every Star Trek episode of every series, I’ve been enjoying the body modification references, both direct references like the one above, and indirect ones like all the different characters and races with tattoos — I thought about making a post cataloging it or adding it to the BME encyclopedia, but then had a bit of a reality check and realized it would be of interest to me and maybe… three other readers.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

9 thoughts on ““Back in the nineties”

  1. Coincidence, I was just yesterday talking about how Star Trek might’ve instigated my interest in body modification, especially DS9, and at least got me some proper female(-ish) role models as a little girl. Especially Kira Nerys (tried to emulate het Bajoran ear piercing as a 8-year old, now thinking about scarification nose “ridges”…) and Jadzia Dax. Beauty (and brains!).

  2. The man and I have been rewatching all of the Star Treks too over the past few months, and I was so delighted by that conversation! Yeah, the 90s, lol… Beautiful.

    And to at least this ONE reader, ST-related posts are always appreciated. :)

  3. I’ve been doing the same thing Shannon, watching all the series. I’m on Voyager now. Jadzia was my favourite character in DS9.

  4. I would love to read a review of Star Trek’s bod mod references. In fact, I’m pretty sure it would go viral (or at least relatively so). Thanks to netflix and the recent films, the Star Trek franchise currently has a huge presence online.

  5. I remember talking in the late nineties about the bad old days (aka the early nineties), when r.a.b. couldn’t agree on whether tattoos were _really_ bodyart or not, when you had your choice of Gauntlet _or_ Silver Anchor jewelry, when there was that funny little io.org website….

  6. *PERK*
    Trek-centric body mob posts?? YES PLEASE!!
    I know at least a handful of others who read ModBlog regularly who would also enjoy this sort of thing!!

  7. I know I’m an eon or two behind in replying to this but it was linked to me by a friend. Back in the 90s thanks to Dax’s character on deep space nine I went out and had the spots tattoo done from my collar one down. Am debating going the whole route and finishing to the temple. So yes, there is at least one person who did it.

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